|Thermaltake Spedo Advance Package VI90001W2Z|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Tim White - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 01 June 2009|
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Closer Look: Spedo Exterior
I almost hate to say this but this chassis arrived to me with minor damage. The chassis is boxed with the rear of the case at the bottom of the box and the front at the top. The top and bottom of the chassis are encased in foam. Nothing covers the front drive bays. If anything is stacked on the box off center it only needs to push enough to bend the cardboard flaps and you now have dented drive bay covers. I blame this both on the shipping company and Thermaltake. I can't believe this would be the first time this has happened with this packaging design. I do think they should look at their packaging process for this case. I didn't mention this to Thermaltake but I know they would have taken care of me if I had. This was not a huge deal for me or most I'm sure as I usually remove at least two bay covers for DVD drives anyway but worth mentioning all the same. If a small packaging change can save many RMAs let's do it.
Tall dark and handsome. This case is BIG! The front view is very clean with no cumbersome buttons or knobs save the power and reset buttons which are flush with the front bezel. Looks are very subjective but I think most will agree the Spedo Advance is aesthetically pleasing. The entire face bezel is black mesh, with plastic trim on either side. The bezel removes very easily for cleaning as you'll see in the details section. At this price range I think it would be nice to have optional front external inputs like USB, eSATA, mic and headphone. Not a deal breaker you can buy them online for about $20 but it would be nice all the same.
On the left side panel you can see an acrylic window, with slits in it. The slits feed a 230mm intake fan. The fan is huge covering most of the window. The fan is big enough to blow cool air on pretty much the entire motherboard. With the Advanced Thermal Chambers (A.T.C. 3) I'm left wondering really how effective this fan might or might not be. Will this help cool or will it create turbulence which equals noise? We'll have to wait and see.
On to the rear and starting at the bottom you can see this chassis has a bottom mounted PSU. This is the norm lately for full tower cases. What I like about this specific example is the ability to mount bottom mount fans like my Corsair TX750 correctly with the fan facing down. More about that in the details. Moving up you can see eight vented expansion covers. At first glance they appear to be held in place with the tooless design. However upon closer inspection they are actually non re-usable knock outs. That's bad enough but Thermaltake did not include any of the standard expansion covers to replace any no longer needed open bays etc. Above those are two 120mm exhaust fans. It's worth mentioning these fans are standard 4 pin molex plug designs so no option of monitoring them with the 3 pin motherboard connections. To the left of the fans are two grommets for water cooling options. The rear of this case is very reminiscent of the Antec 1200.
Around to the right side you'll notice what is very rare but what I hope will become standard on most "gamer" cases. The case door has vents in it that allow cool air to be brought into the case underneath the motherboard. Inside the door this chassis has a mount for one 120mm fan which can blow cool outside air to the underside of the CPU. I can see other uses for this as well including in lieu of the fan, with minor modification you could mount CPU coolers without removing the motherboard. Very nice. Near the front is more mesh venting that allows air to pass horizontally through the case across the hard drives which mount horizontally and left to right. The height of the feet is key when having a bottom fan PSU mounted correctly. That clearance equals life giving air flow to your expensive PSU.
On to the top. The rear half is covered in large honeycomb mesh which offers all but unrestricted airflow out of the case from the top 230mm exhaust fan. The triangular vents on the front half allow cool air to be brought into the chassis. The front most contains two USB ports on either side, headphone, mic and eSATA in the middle. Gone is firewire, which is slowly becoming the norm on the modern gamer chassis.
The bottom of this chassis has two vented areas. One for the bottom mounted PSU and one for a 120mm fan. This 120mm fan mount may help those that have a front to rear cooling PSU such as PC Power and Cooling Silencer but will do very little for bottom fan PSU's such as the Corsair units. The feet on this case are very large and can be oreinted in two ways. Front to back as pictured above or the can swivel out.